Habitat continuity and social organisation of the mountain pygmy-possum restored by tunnel

  • Published source details Mansergh I.M. & Scotts D.J. (1989) Habitat continuity and social organisation of the mountain pygmy-possum restored by tunnel. Journal of Wildlife Management, 53, 701-707.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Install tunnels/culverts/underpass under roads

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Install tunnels/culverts/underpass under roads

    A controlled, before-and-after, site comparison study in 1982–1986 of rock screes and boulder fields on a mountain in Victoria, Australia (Mansergh & Scotts 1989) found that an artificial rocky corridor, which included two underpasses, was used by mountain pygmy-possums Burramys parvus and female overwinter survival and male dispersal increased. Over 28 days, mountain pygmy-possum were recorded in a monitored underpass 60 times, bush rats Rattus fuscipes 21 times and dusky antechinus Antechinus swainsonii three times. The overwinter survival of female pygmy-possums was 96% of that at an undisturbed site after corridor construction, compared to 21% before. Before construction, sex ratios at the two sites differed, with males not dispersing at the developed site. After construction, both adult and juvenile males dispersed (population before: 25% male; after: 10% male). In 1985, a 60-m-long corridor, connecting a fragmented breeding area, was created. This included two adjacent tunnels (1 m diameter) under a road. The corridor and tunnels were filled with rocks to imitate scree. A remotely activated camera monitored one tunnel over 18 days in February–April and 10 days in October–November 1986. Possums were live-trapped in 1982–1986. Population composition was compared at the developed (ski resort) site and one undisturbed site.

    (Summarised by: Rebecca K. Smith)

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